by David Greenberg
If asked what type of Jew I am, I would probably say that the best description is a Gastronomic Jew.
When I agreed to write this blog post I assumed we would just have come out of the Jewish holiday season of family meals for Rosh Hashannah, Yom Kippur break fast, and sitting in the Sukkah. We’d be able to look back not only at the CJC Challah making night but at a joyous night of food and merriment at the CJC 50th anniversary gala. We would recall Men’s club meetings with Alan P’s spread of bagels, lox, cream cheese and more. Alas, for the best laid plans.
Even in times of COVID though, CJC continues to excel at food. We continue, thanks to Marlene Trossman’s Grassroots committee, to prepare a monthly meal for a very full shelter. As the weather gets colder this important work will be even more important. A big thank you to all of you who help out (and a chance for more or you to join in.)
We also continue to support our own community with meals for congregants who are sitting Shiva or recovering from illness or injury. The Caring Committee is truly an amazing tribute to putting the Congregation in Columbia Jewish Congregation.
However, other chances to gather and share bread are harder to find. It has been quite a while since I have gotten a quick update on someone’s life while snagging a cracker, piece of fruit, or sweet at a Shabbat Oneg. I know that B’nai Mitzvah, birthdays, and weddings continue to be celebrated but without the unique warmth of a Jewish feast. Happy hour over Zoom is just not the same as meeting in person.
So I look for other ways to find spiritual warmth from food. I am trying to remember to savor at least some of the bites of each meal (every bite is beyond my skill.) While I am enjoying the special tang of orange juice in the morning or an evening ice cream treat I try to remember how lucky I am to have food and to be able to taste and enjoy it. I hope all of you are finding time during these crazy days to stop and enjoy your food, to stop and remember how much we have to thankful for, to stop and remember that you are part of a caring community even if we cannot get together in person. I hope everyone has a Thanksgiving and Chanukah filled with good foods, even if the tables are smaller and some of the family is joining remotely.